Monday, February 13, 2012

Everything is negotiable with sellers

You found the house to buy, put the house is escrow, and had a home inspection.  What do you do when the inspection report come back with problems, maybe serious issues that can effect the deal.  The answer may be as simple as...Negotiate with the seller.

There is a caveat of course.  Many times in a inspection report, there are finding throughout the home with systems, such as the roof, water heater, or maybe the boiler, that are older and may be coming to the end of its useful life.  In fact, many items will have to be replaced eventually. The problem with that is, the system is still working, and may continue working for some time before it fails.  So what do you do? Have the seller replace them, or ask for money off the sale price.  This should not kill the deal in many cases.

There are a few ways to negotiate items that may be of concern to you in the inspection report.
The first is to request the seller to fix it. Depending on the severity of the issue, the seller may have to fix the issue.  If you don't buy the house for this reason, chances are that the next buyers inspector will see the same thing and the issue will be found.  Without being fixed, the house may never get sold.  This all depends on the motivation of the seller, and how bad they want the home sold.

The second is to place money in escrow to fix the defect once the transaction is complete. This will require getting an estimate of the repair and using the escrow money to repair.  One problem here is that once the repair begins, it may turn out to be a larger problem, and the escrow money may not be enough.

The third way is to split the cost. Many sellers may not want to pay for any costs, especially if they are selling the house "as-is", but again, it may be the only way to move the house. Again, this comes down to seller motivation, and if the buyer really want the particular house. 

The great thing about real estate, is that almost everything is negotiable.  If you don't ask, you will never know.